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China buys $400 million of U.S. corn

Importers are adding to the mountain of U.S. corn already headed to China with the purchase of 1.36 million tonnes of corn for delivery in the marketing year that opens September 1. The purchase, reported by private exporters to USDA, was worth $400 million at current futures prices.

Some 11.38 million tonnes of U.S. corn have been shipped to China during the current marketing year, and an additional 11.986 million tonnes have been purchased and await shipment, according to USDA data. The world’s largest agricultural importer, China is forecast to buy a record $31.5 billion of U.S. farm exports this fiscal year.

China, which is rebuilding its hog herd after an epidemic of African swine fever, has imported vast quantities of grain and soybeans so far this year. The spate of purchases has prompted speculation that either the country does not have as large a domestic supply as it reports or the reserves are in poor condition. China is the second-largest corn producer, behind the United States, and is credited with a stockpile of 200 million tonnes, equal to two-thirds of the global totals.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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